Canada home resale prices drop in March, sales up
TORONTO (Reuters) - Resale house prices in Canada fell 7.7 percent in March from a year earlier, but sales rose from February, the Canadian Real Estate Association said on Wednesday.
The average home price in Canada was C$288,641 ($238,546) in March, down from C$312,852 a year earlier, CREA said.
Home prices were lower in 14 of 25 major markets that the association measures, led by Greater Vancouver. The average price of a home in Greater Vancouver, which had seen a very sharp run-up in prices in the past few years, was C$530,763 in March, down 13.9 percent from a year earlier.
Other Western Canadian cities also felt sharp price pressure, with average home values still down more than 10 percent in Victoria, Calgary and Edmonton.
The biggest increase in home prices was in the Atlantic province of Newfoundland and Labrador, up 24.3 percent from a year earlier to C$198,057.
But the average national price "continues to be skewed downward" because of fewer transactions at the higher end of the spectrum, CREA said.
However, in an encouraging sign that the housing market may be stabilizing, there was a pickup in sales for a second consecutive month.
Nationally, 31,135 homes were sold in March, up 7 percent from February on a seasonally adjusted basis and building on February's 10.3 percent rise from January.
British Columbia posted the largest increase in sales, up 13.6 percent, and Ontario followed with a 10.5 percent rise. Continued...